T20 BLAST FINALS DAY: Our cricket tipster The Edge previews Saturday’s T20 Blast Finals Day. The semi-finals between Hampshire v Somerset and Kent v Sussex are previewed both with a recommended BETDAQ bet.
Hampshire v Somerset
We have one of the best days of the cricket season in England on Saturday as it’s T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston! We’ll have all the fun of the fair today, some big sixes and an excellent atmosphere. The great news for traders too is all cricket bets are 0% Commission on BETDAQ Betting Exchange on Saturday. We start early with Hampshire taking on Somerset in the first Semi-Final. Hampshire were somewhat lucky in the Quarter-Finals in the sense that they only managed to post 125/9 but to their credit they defended it, bowling Nottinghamshire out for 123 which was a fantastic achievement.
They will obviously need to bat better here, but on paper they have a decent batting order. They’re a little top heavy though, and given it’s an early start at Edgbaston we might see some movement early – perhaps they would be wise to bowl first given their batting line-up. We had two high scoring Quarter-Finals, and Somerset chased down 184/9 against Lancashire. Taunton is a high scoring ground however, and perhaps Sussex – who play in the second Semi-Final – chasing down Yorkshire was more impressive. Somerset sometimes struggle outside of their home ground because usually the wicket is fantastic for batting and we also have short boundaries. The middle order might find lift for difficult here, but we should have an excellent day of cricket ahead!
WEATHER AND PITCH WATCH:
In general the wicket is usually good for Finals day – they basically have to had the wicket in reasonable shape because they will have three games. I’m happy to look past the 2020 Finals day because it was heavily delayed with Covid19. So for example, the three first inning scores in 2019 were 147/9 (won), 160/5 (won) and 145/9 (lost). Then in 2018 the three first inning scores were 169/6 (won), 202/8 (won) and 157/6 (lost). I would suggest the best thing to do is give the wicket three overs to see what conditions are like, but I would be aiming for 160 batting first. History would suggest it’s also good to bat first in the Semi-Finals.
I feel the second Semi-Final is a more higher quality affair than this one, and I expect a very close game here. As I said above, Hampshire are top heavy with their batting line-up and they face a tricky decision at the toss. Do you bat first like history would suggest, or do you try avoid the early movement because of the early start? It’s tricky, and maybe overhead conditions on the day with decide. Somerset are a good side, but I wouldn’t have them clear favourites and I make Hampshire the value at 2.1. I would have this game a coin-toss.
The Edge Says:
One point win Hampshire to beat Somerset at 2.1 with BETDAQ Betting Exchange
View the market here -> https://bit.ly/BDQHamSom
The in-running strategy is pretty tricky here. Both sides are open to collapsing looking at their batting line-up so I wouldn’t want to go too heavy when either are batting. If you skip 2020 because the dates changed with Covid19, the last four sides batting first have won the Semi-Finals. Apart from some early movement off the wicket, that would suggest there is an edge batting first – especially as there is a lot of pressure chasing. I would trade with that in mind, but I would also be happy to go against the Hampshire middle-order here. Their best batters are at the top of the order, and once they are three down things get tricky. Somerset have a lot of hitters in their side, and they might struggle because the Hampshire bowling is pretty solid. An ideal scenario would be Hampshire bat first and go reasonably OK, and then I’ll be happy to take on Somerset in the chase.
Kent v Sussex
Kent take on Sussex in the next Semi-Final and this should be a cracker. On paper in my opinion, these are the top two sides on Finals day, it’s just a shame for both sides they have to play each other! As I said above, we had two high scoring Quarter-Finals, and Sussex chased down 177/7 from Yorkshire to get here. That was pretty impressive given the strength of the Yorkshire side and Sussex do look like a very strong side. They have some top class batting and top class bowling, with plenty of stars. Kent also have some England stars in their batting line-up and their bowling is generally always good. They are a pretty rock solid side.
This should be a quality game of cricket, you could say Kent got an easier Quarter-Final but they did top the South Group so it was good cricket that got them there in fairness. If Sussex put everything together I can’t see them losing here – the star quality they have in their batting and bowling is very impressive. If things go right I don’t see any side living with that; however you have to respect Kent – they might not be as flashy as Sussex or as strong on paper, but they are a side who do everything well. It’s fascinating to see how Tymal Mills will go after returning from injury – he bowls so fast, but his radar can be off and he could easily decide the game. If he goes well, it should be one way traffic for Sussex.
WEATHER AND PITCH WATCH:
This game will be a lot easier to know what is coming as we will have already seen the first game on the wicket. As I noted above, the three first inning scores in 2019 were 147/9 (won), 160/5 (won) and 145/9 (lost). Then in 2018 the three first inning scores were 169/6 (won), 202/8 (won) and 157/6 (lost). You can see the wicket plays a little better in the afternoon, and that would make sense too because you’d likely lose any early movement. I would check the scores from the first game and then possibly add 10-20 runs – but obviously we could also have a very high or low score in the first game so do factor that in.
I’m a huge fan of the Sussex side, and they are worth backing here at 1.87. Much like the first Semi-Final, I expect another close game here but that’s because Kent are a top quality side too. However, if Sussex play to their best ability they won’t be stopped in my view. Their bowling attack is excellent – they have multiple options and while Kent have a solid batting line-up, I don’t think they’ll be able to deal with this Sussex bowling line-up. To chase down that big score against Yorkshire with Ravi Bopara only scoring 9 is very promising, and even the tail have some excellent hitting ability.
The Edge Says:
Three points win Sussex to beat Kent at 1.87 with BETDAQ Betting Exchange
View the market here -> https://bit.ly/BDQSusKen
A lot of the in-running strategy will depend on how the wicket plays here, and you should be able to gain a lot of knowledge from the first game. That will give you a slight edge as to what is expected with the scoring – if we have a high scoring day, it will pay to look for trades on the batting side – so back the side batting first and look to trade out at HT, possibly get on the chasing side at times, but remember the last four Semi-Finals at this time of the year have saw the side batting first win. I would really want to be with the Sussex bowling though if the wicket wasn’t a belter and easy for batting – they look to have an excellent T20 attack and it should pay to support them.